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UN: Why turning migrants away “won’t work”

UNHCRu2019s High Commissioner Filippo Grandi

Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) has described the current migrants crisis as a global phenomenon and stressed that simply turning them away “won’t work”.

UNHCR’s High Commissioner Filippo Grandi
UNHCR’s High Commissioner Filippo Grandi

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Grandi appealed to more nations to increase both funding and resettlement in order to help the few countries hosting most of the refugees.

The fact that Syrians are arriving in East Asia and in Caribbean as refugees shows “how global the phenomenon has become and therefore we have to have global responses”, Mr Grandi said.

The burden of caring for refugees, he said, had so far fallen “on a few countries that host hundreds of thousands of refugees, usually those near wars, near conflicts and a few donors that alone, seven or eight of them, give 80%-90%, of the funding”.

“This has to spread more, has to be shared more, otherwise the imbalances will cause knee-jerk reactions, closures, rejections and in the end we will fail in our responsibility to help refugees.”

“There is an awareness that global displacement, having reached 60 million people, plus all that move for other reasons, economic migrants and so forth, that requires a different kind of investment and therefore it involves everybody,” Mr Grandi added.

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